Arts/Culture

The WBFO Arts & Culture News Desk is co-funded by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

With the United States dealing with what many call an immigration crisis, a church in Buffalo is making an artistic statement on the divisive issue.

CTC (Chautauqua Theater Company)

Theater Talk promotes gender inclusion in the arts and this week recognizes three strong women. Eleanor Jean Murray who recently passed away at the age of 95 was a driving force behind the Studio Arena Theatre (now Shea's 710 Theatre). Chelsea Marcantel has another of her plays on stage at Chautauqua called AIRNESS. And 2018 Artie-nominated Heather Fangsrud presents her one-woman play KNOCK KNOCK, JESUS CALLING about growing up gay in a Jehovah's Witness family.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

While the Albright Knox Art Gallery's massive renovation and expansion plan may well be approved for eventual construction, staff and architects learned Tuesday it will not be simple.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

The long-discussed expansion of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery shifted from a bunch of architects around a computer screen to a project Monday, as the $155 million project went before the Buffalo Planning Board.

Cheryl Gorski

There is a wide variety of theater offerings this early July, from the innocent ALICE IN WONDERLAND in East Aurora's Hamlin Park (an outdoor event), to the definitely 18+ SILENCE! THE MUSICAL at the Alleyway, some farce (HERE LIES JEREMY TROY) at Desiderio's Dinner Theatre, KING LEAR closes this Sunday at (free) Shakespeare in Delaware Park and something different at Chautuaqua: AIRNESS about an air guitar contest!

You don’t often see groundbreaking ceremonies led by children wearing hard hats, riding in on toy construction vehicles.

But that’s exactly how the Strong National Museum of Play broke ground Thursday on a 100,000 square foot expansion. That expansion will bring a new, larger atrium and entrance to the museum and include new exhibits like women in gaming, a ropes course, updated outdoor play area and parking garage.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

Doctors from around the world are in Buffalo this week not to discuss medicine, but to play music. With some help from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, they performed music at Oishei Children’s Hospital for patients and parents. It’s part of the hospital’s Healing Arts Initiative which focuses on bringing performances and visual artworks into their facilities. WBFO’s Nick Lippa has more.


Marian Hetherly

It was decades ago when Ken Goldstein first saw the Bethlehem Steel Plant in Lackawanna. The moment moved the young artist to write what he calls a "depressing" song about the crumbling facility and the struggling community. Many years later he was invited to Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley where the original Bethlehem Steel Plant had undergone a renaissance as a community arts center. The transformation inspired Goldstein to produce a film and revise "The Song of Bethlehem."


Thomas O'Neil-White

The corner of Hertel and Commonwealth avenues is busy with commerce and the traffic is loud. But artists are at work here with brushes, ladders and buckets of paint. The stained glass design of their mural, which seems more fitting in a place of worship, symbolizes what this neighborhood stands for.


Haldan Kirsch / The Chautauqua Daily

In 1859, Dion Boucicault wrote a hit melodrama about the fate of AN OCTOROON in the antebellum south. Today, BJJ (a young black playwright) writes his own version, but when the white actors in his adaptation quit, BJJ decides to take on the role of the racist plantation overseer himself. Seen at Shaw last summer, there are only four performances left at Chautauqua through Sunday. In Buffalo, BUA's "summer camp" offering is SILENCE! THE MUSICAL based on "Silence of the Lambs" (really!) while at MusicalFare MURDER FOR TWO pits two great musicians, Phil Farugia and Joseph Donohue III, in a (musical) battle of whodunit.


Francesca Bond

What do "Jane Eyre," "Harry Potter" and "Fifty Shades of Grey" have in common?

They're all part of the Great American Read -- a list of 100 novels, from classics to more contemporary works. And this summer, PBS and WNED-TV are asking people to vote for their favorites.

But it's impossible to get all of the greatest literary works on a list of a mere 100.

Dept. of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation / University of Rochester

More than a century after his death, Frederick Douglass and July 4 remain profoundly intertwined.

Shakespeare in Delaware Park

Strong women's roles may be a rarity in Hollywood, but not here on Western New York stages, including the three daughters of King Lear over at Shakespeare in Delaware Park and the various roles in the very timely and topical SLUT, played by students from Buffalo's Academy for Visual and Performing Arts at the Manny Fried Theater. Also note Rebecca Ritchie's IN THE BEGINNING (the "real" story of Eve, Lillith, and "the serpent") up at the Kenan Center, paired up with Mark Humphrey's DAYROOM.

Chris Caya/WBFO

This week marks the return of the Miss New York competition to downtown Buffalo, with two dozen contestants from across the state taking part.


OMA and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery would add a building, save a building and renovate its original building under the latest version of its A-K-360 plan. Gallery officials say they'll need to raise $155 million in order ro fulfill their vision.


MIke Desmond/WBFO

The list of official Buffalo landmarks is continuing to increase, with more scheduled to be approved by the Council tomorrow. The city Preservation Board has been picking buildings which are landmarks under state or federal rules and covering them under city rules.


www.shawfest.com

In collaboration with a fellow classicist, Artistic Director of The Shaw Festival Tim Carroll, Stephen Fry presents three takes on "The Greek Myths." MYTHOS: GODS covers the origins of our well known Zeus, Athena, Prometheus, et. al. but he also has an evening called MYTHOS: MEN and MYTHOS: HEROES. Meanwhile, Shakespeare in Delaware Park opened an equally ambitious play, KING LEAR, which runs through July. And, closing this Sunday are the sublimely acted LADY WINDERMERE'S FAN at Irish Classical and a series of short, experimental, existential plays called WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE CASABLANCA: Flashbacks in the Fog, at tiny Rust Belt Books on Grant Street.


Ryan Fitzsimmons

In a place known for having more cows than people, an arts and culture movement is brewing. The Town of Perry has hosted ‘Shake on the Lake’ since 2012 where outdoor productions of Shakespeare have been performed at Silver Lake and other rural Western New York areas. Now they are home to the inaugural New York State Puppet Festival and hope to bring it back for years to come.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Just one month after the death of artist Robert Indiana, his set of world-renowned sculptures, “NUMBERS ONE through ZERO,” are making their U.S. debut on the Western New York Waterfront.


ShakespeareInDelawarePark.org

It's a sign summer has arrived in Buffalo: the return of Shakespeare in Delaware Park.  After a few seasons since the Shakespeare classic was last seen on the Delaware Park stage, managing director Lisa Ludwig says the decision was made to start the 2018 season with King Lear. Directed by Steve Vaughan, the production runs through July 15.


Buffalo broadcasters Hall of Fame gets new members

Jun 20, 2018
Julianna Sebastian

Six people who have garnered local and national attention were introduced Wednesday as the newest members of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2018 includes retired WGRZ-TV anchor John Beard, current Star 102.5 show host Roger Christian, national radio station manager Tom Langmyer, broadcast engineer Tom Atkins, 97 Rock Program Director John Hager, and the late Mary Lounsbury, the first female general manager of a Buffalo radio station.

Tonight's Gusto Vinyl Happy Hour at Sportsmen's Tavern will be centered on Miles Davis' 1959 album, "Kind of Blue." According to Buffalo News music critic Jeff Miers, the night will begin promptly at 7 p.m. with a listen to the top-selling jazz album of all-time. That will be followed by an audience give-and-take before a group of musicians takes the stage to perform the entire album.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The 43rd Juneteenth Festival in MLK Park had beautiful weather to celebrate the day after the Civil War when news of the end of the war and of freedom for slaves reached a far corner of Texas.

David Cooper

Sunday night's Tony Awards big winner was THE BAND'S VISIT, which ultimately may not "tour well" but racked up 10 different awards, including Best Musical. Glenda Jackson was gracious and political as she declared that "America is always great!" But so is Canada, particularly at The Shaw Festival, where Anthony enjoyed MYTHOS: GODS, part of a one man trilogy starring PBS favorite Stephen Fry, and Peter enjoyed GRAND HOTEL, starring the rubber jointed Michael Therriault as "Otto Kringelein."


www.sheas.org

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical LOVE NEVER DIES, a 10-years-later sequel to his PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, is at Shea’s Performing Arts Center through Sunday evening, June 10. The principal soprano role is the Phantom's beloved musical protégée, Christine Daaé, now an established Diva, and it's being sung by an established soprano, Meghan Picerno, who has sung the lead soprano roles of Cunegonde in Bernstein’s CANDIDE, Marie in Donizetti’s DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT, and Lucia in Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR. “Something they have in common is that they’re all acting roles; they’re all full-on performance roles” she told WNED|WBFO's Peter Hall, roles which have prepared her for the Broadway stage.

Julianna Sebastian / WBFO News

An open window still exists to see - and smell - the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens' stinkiest flower.

The Tony Awards felt a little different this year than they have recently. It was a year without a Hamilton or a Dear Evan Hansen; there was no one original, out-of-nowhere show that came into the Tony Awards as a pop phenomenon. In fact, all four of the four nominated musicals were adaptations of existing properties: SpongeBob SquarePants, Disney's Frozen and the non-musical films Mean Girls and The Band's Visit.

WBFO News

The 2018 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition wrapped up Saturday night at Kleinhans Music Hall. Bokyung Byun of South Korea won first place. She was the first woman ever to win the competition. Byun also won the Musicians Choice award as voted by members of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors from across Western New York will flock to downtown Buffalo for the 61st Allentown Art Festival this weekend. Art lovers and people-watchers will find streets filled with arts, music, and energy.

wbfo.org

The 28th annual Artie Awards presented by WNED|WBFO were a big success with a larger audience than ever resulting in more proceeds from the event collected to support Erie County Medical Center's HIV/AIDS and Immunodeficiency Services, a charity for which various theater companies have been collecting for months. In addition, performers from LOVE NEVER DIES (currently at Shea's) will put on LATE NIGHT WITH THE CAST, a benefit concert to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, tonight, June 8 at 11:00 p.m. at the Alleyway Theatre’s Main Street Cabaret, 672 Main Street. See the list of nominees and winners along with photographs here.

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